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Old 09-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #1
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Unhappy Quinoa - WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED

Just had my first exsperience with Quinoa (pronounced, I'm told, keen-wah) I prepared it according to the directions I received - one part grain, 2 parts water. Rinse the grain first (some of it fell through my strainer). Bring it to a boil, then simmer covered 10 - 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED. DW took one look and said it was mine to eat. Did I do something wrong? I used it in place of rice for a stir fry.

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Old 09-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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Don't worry, I was not excited about it the first time I tried it. I think the texture is a bit different than what you would expect of rice or couscous. It has a grain like flavor to me that is hard to cover up. I have only tried it a couple of times, I'm like you, either I am doing it wrong, or it is simply not for me!
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:55 PM   #3
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Its going to be fluffier than rice, but should be fine in fried rice. Make sure you always have enough seasoning. Salt and pepper is enough, something else is fine. Also, if it tastes bitter, you didn't rinse it enough. I didn't like it the first time I made it because it was bitter.

Here's a way that I like quite alot: Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Poblano Peppers.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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I buy a grain mixture at trader joes (Harvest grains I believe its called) that has quinoa in it...if I'm not mistaken two different kinds, a small red one and a larger white one....I cook it in chicken broth and at the same time I bake a lemon chicken, I add about half of the chicken drippings and more lemon juice to the cooked quinoa with salt and pepper to taste and mixed veggies....very tasty. Even my 1 yr old was asking for more!
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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I buy a grain mixture at trader joes (Harvest grains I believe its called) that has quinoa in it...if I'm not mistaken two different kinds, a small red one and a larger white one....I cook it in chicken broth and at the same time I bake a lemon chicken, I add about half of the chicken drippings and more lemon juice to the cooked quinoa with salt and pepper to taste and mixed veggies....very tasty. Even my 1 yr old was asking for more!
You got me wanting to try it again!
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:14 PM   #6
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Good! LOL and for some reason is tastes even better the next day reheated!! Maybe because all the flavours have had a chance to soak in??
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
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I would imagine so. I have found many things taste better the next day. There are things I purposly make a day ahead just because of that reason! I'm definately going to try and find bulk quinoa.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:55 PM   #8
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Okay, I'll give it another try. I didn't use any salt cuz I'm trying to avoid sodium (BP ya know). The chicken stock idea sounds good so that might be the answer. Also. using it like fried rice sounds tasty. Now I have to figure out how to do it without upping the sodium level. I like stir frys because of the veggies and I'm trying to keep them low fat and sodium. Found a recipe for faux soy sauce and made it yesterday. Sorry to say there's no joy there. Flat. No taste I could discern, but then I've been a salt freak all my life; now I'm paying for it. Sattie, your idea sounds really good, too. Maybe I'll bop over to TJ's tomorrow. My thanks to all....Dave

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Old 09-16-2008, 12:16 AM   #9
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Haven't tried quinoa yet (I have some in the cupboard I've been meaning to try out someday), but I know that with rice you don't usually want to try to make fried rice with it the day you cooked the rice. It comes out much better after a day in the fridge. I believe it's because it loses some moisture in storage. Maybe it's the same with quinoa - or maybe that's just not a good application for quinoa.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:21 AM   #10
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...using it like fried rice sounds tasty. Now I have to figure out how to do it without upping the sodium level.
Not sure how strict you need to be about sodium but there's a reduced salt tamari made by San-J (I think - don't have the bottle in front of me) that tastes excellent. I actually prefer it to their standard Tamari, and I'm not on a reduced salt diet. It does still contain salt/sodium, but less than the normal amount.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave the baker View Post
Just had my first exsperience with Quinoa (pronounced, I'm told, keen-wah) I prepared it according to the directions I received - one part grain, 2 parts water. Rinse the grain first (some of it fell through my strainer). Bring it to a boil, then simmer covered 10 - 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED. DW took one look and said it was mine to eat. Did I do something wrong? I used it in place of rice for a stir fry.
I would not be impressed with any grain cooked plain. Imho they all need (to quote my mom) "doctoring up."

Saute some onions, celery, carrots, garlic. Stir in the quinoa. Add Corn stock or chicken stock or something else that's tasty. Let that get absorbed. NOW give it a try!!!!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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Even the "reduced sodium" types can contain up to and over 40% of daily limits in just 2 tablespoons! I'm fixing some quinoa today with a good chicken broth (and just a pinch of sea salt) and leaving it in the fridge overnight. Let y'all know how it turns out.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:16 AM   #13
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If I am reduced to using canned stocks, I always taste them first before adding any additional salt. Most are way too salty for me. However, I habitually keep homemade chicken stock in the freezer at all times. I think my Jewish Grandmother would come back and slap me if I didn't!
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:25 AM   #14
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Try it with shrimp stock....It's good!
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:06 PM   #15
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I was not happy with it either the first 2 times I cooked it.

Then I read the directions on the package and it said to SIMMER not
COVER AND SIMMER. Since I started cooking it with the cover off, except for the last few minutes, it turns out much better. Not all mushy and sticking together in a lump. Much fluffier and a little bit of firmness. Al dente.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #16
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If you're trying to reduce your sodium intake that sucks because foods like quinoa, farro, cous cous, etc. need to be pretty heavily seasoned or else it doesn't taste that great. It's pretty much a trade off: you can make it healthier for you by adding less salt, but you're going to have to sacrifice flavor. Things like herbs, mire poix, etc. will add some flavor, but without the right amout of salt you still won't get the full effect.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #17
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Lizannd - Thanks for the lid reminder.
Chef June - Oy vey! The broth I use is what I save in the freezer from Costco's canned Chicken Breast - best flavor I've found to date.

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Old 09-16-2008, 06:13 PM   #18
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I always dry roast them first and lightly brown them (being careful not to burn!) before boil them. It gives a nice flavour.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I would not be impressed with any grain cooked plain. Imho they all need (to quote my mom) "doctoring up."

Saute some onions, celery, carrots, garlic. Stir in the quinoa. Add Corn stock or chicken stock or something else that's tasty. Let that get absorbed. NOW give it a try!!!!!
That's what I have done, and I do like it. I made it just plain the first time, thinking that with just salt and pepper and the veggies and chicken on the side it would be OK, but it was blah.

I also can't stand couscous, it's like eating sand to me. And while I don't like the "look" of quinoa, the taste is fine if seasoned well and made with broth. And, I have also made brown rice and added some to that, for more nutrition.
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave the baker View Post
Just had my first exsperience with Quinoa (pronounced, I'm told, keen-wah) I prepared it according to the directions I received - one part grain, 2 parts water. Rinse the grain first (some of it fell through my strainer). Bring it to a boil, then simmer covered 10 - 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED. DW took one look and said it was mine to eat. Did I do something wrong? I used it in place of rice for a stir fry.
You did not do anything wrong. It is tasteless to say the list. I use use chicken soup instead of water, it makes it a little bit better. But the best one I had was first cooked and then it was stuffed into chicken and baked. It was individual chicken thighs and quinoa was stuffed under the skin. It was actually pretty decent.

Gosh, pay attention, why don't cha? I did not even look at the dates and answered to the original post. Duh ...
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